2 Years and 9 Months

That’s how long it’s been since I took my YouTube channel seriously. But why? It’s been a LONG road but putting yourself out there is a big choice, well, at least for me…

I’m Mike, a graphic designer, comic and movie lover, dad, and NERD! I love comics for the art and stories of fantastical places and impossible tales! I love movies for the same reasons, (well, the good movies at least, but that’s subjective.) HEROES, VILLAINS, PLACES UNSEEN, STORIES NEVER HEARD OF, AND IMAGINATION UNBOUND! That’s what I love.

Being a kid of the 80s, since I was young, I loved reading comic books. Tales of the Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer, Spider-Man, Ghost Rider, and watching cartoons like “Transformers,” “G.I. Joe,” “Inhumanoids,” and so on! My movies have always been the ones I can watch over and over again.

Now you might be saying, Mike, that’s a great rundown of what you like, but what does this have to do with YouTube? Well, it’s a great question! I wanted to draw comics originally, but my dad didn’t approve as he is “old world,” being from Europe, and it wasn’t respectable. So, I found a workaround and became a graphic designer thinking THAT would help me achieve my goals. In the early 90s (when Image started), I, with other friends, started our own imprint of fanzines, and we gained a bit of popularity! We had radio interviews and sold copies in comic shops, flea markets, and EVERYWHERE we could! But we broke up like The Beatles in the mid-90s, and having a family with kids to take care of, I put the pencil down.

Now comes college in the mid-90s! Graphic Design was my first elective, BUT I had to have a second, in case the first didn’t pan through. THAT was radio broadcasting. I had an audition, and I was told to pick a topic that was happening in the news. I picked a news story about a drunken guy in California who hopped into a tank and took it for a joyride. I ranted for about 15 minutes on this topic, and I was LIVE on the radio. The program director tapped on the window behind me, and the live light was off. I thought I was in SO MUCH TROUBLE! The director asked in a serious voice, “Mike, do you know what a shock jock is?” I meekly answered, thinking I was in trouble, saying, “No.” “Well,” she said, “Do you know who Rush Limbaugh is, or Howard Stern?” My eyes lit up. I knew THOSE names! “Sure!” I said. Then her voice got excited and said, “I NEED YOU IN MY COURSE! I WILL DO ANYTHING TO HAVE YOU IN!” However, I got my first elective and never got into radio broadcasting… but that bug was always there; the seed was planted.

For years, I found alternative media getting into the 2000s, but during that time, as a graphic designer, I started doing prototype work for Hasbro for a Transformers CCG (Collectible Card Game) shown at the San Diego Comic-Con. Hasbro showed it to Wizards of the Coast, but another was picked instead. But alternative media grabbed me. People like Glenn Beck, Alex Jones, and Stephen Crowder (who showed up later on) got my ear. Here were guys covering news that WASN’T in mainstream media, and they were being listened to, too! Talking about a few things in media (besides the political stuff), that I WAS noticing! Commercials where men were the brunt of the joke or looked like morons, men starting to look weak in some TV shows and such. Being in media, I started taking notice of these things. I started seeing the shift in the neutering of masculine roles in media, and it disturbed me.

I had a YouTube account since 2009. I never really did anything with it. I posted some videos here and there, but I wanted to speak out! I enjoyed listening to alternative media instead of mainstream because I started seeing the lies for what they were. In my family, we always stood up for the truth! However, there was a problem…I’m NOT a political type of guy. What I mean is, I don’t know the in-depth going on in the political world that many out there do. So what do I do? I toyed with the idea for a few years of starting a channel, but what do I talk about?

During this time, I started freelance work as a graphic designer in the nerd community. I designed the box art for a company called X-Transbots for their version of the Quintessons and scale posters, which I sell worldwide thanks to the cartoon production charts I got from Hasbro back in 2002. I was starting to “make a name” for myself in those nerd circles.

Then the new “Star Wars” movie came out. I took my kids to see “The Force Awakens.” ALL MY KIDS HATED IT! One of my daughters was in dismay, saying she couldn’t believe how they killed Han Solo. Movies were getting crappier. This wasn’t the Star Wars I remember, or what my kids enjoyed! Then “Captain Marvel” came out. Marvel was following “THE FORMULA.” I started checking out comics as well. BAD ART, BAD WRITING, RETCONNING CHARACTERS! What was happening? Then I knew what I needed to do…

I started looking on YouTube during the “lockdowns.” I knew this was programming, but on a massive scale! I knew when this started slowly (remember those commercials I mentioned earlier), but this was an attack on nerd culture. I started seeing more people speaking out, saying the same thing. I wasn’t alone!

I found people like YOU and me saying the same thing! I knew what I had to talk about! This was my “political arena.” My wife encouraged me to do it. But I needed a name. Every hero needs a name. If I was going to go the pop culture hero route, I needed a name that was memorable too. My youngest daughter came down to where I have my office space, saw me watching a helmeted character, and said, “Who’s that guy and why is he wearing a helmet?” I explained that “to the people trying to ruin comics and movies and stuff, to them, HE WOULD BE THE VILLAIN. So that’s why he plays a super villain.” She looked at me and said, “Oh! Well if you want to start a channel talking about comics and stuff and try to look like a comic hero, then why not call yourself, THE COMIC RELIEF CRUSADER.”

Out of the mouths of babes, THIS WAS IT. That was the name.

2 Years and 9 Months.

I speak because this nerd culture that I enjoy has NEVER asked for anything, whether it be comics, a fun movie, or a game you can spend a few hours playing, only that you take the time to enjoy what was produced by the talents that made them. We enjoy our Steven Spielberg’s, our John Byrnes, and our Chris Claremont’s. That’s why we became geeks and nerds! Something about those comics, movies, and TV shows made us dream and WANT to be part of a community! Now it’s being destroyed by those that want to take those proverbial toys off the shelves and break them. They don’t have that emotional attachment that we do. That’s why we have to fight back! We all need to be heroes and take back what was ours!

That’s why I have a channel. I love what was and what SHOULD be. I love our great movies that we have. I love the comics that told great stories and adventures. I love ACTUAL creators who feel they have a story to tell without the “message” being shoved down our necks. I LOVE YOUR POP CULTURE!

Join me in promoting and saving what we have left and take back what was ours!

I mentioned earlier that back in the mid-90s, I “put the pencil down.” I’m working with a former Marvel/DC artist who cannot speak out as he would like to because his royalties would be at risk. I plan to return to my roots and draw. I want comics to be fun again, and I want to take you guys along for the ride!

I can speak, and I’ll speak for you too.

I will draw again, and I hope you will play with me too!

Mike Lorber

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